Springe direkt zu Inhalt

Reading event | Reading Artists' Books: Asemic Writing

Jul 18, 2024 | 06:30 PM
Eva Wipf, 'Die neue Sprache' (1980).

Eva Wipf, 'Die neue Sprache' (1980).
Image Credit: Photo by Tabea Nixdorff.

Mirtha Dermisache, page from 'Sin título (theatre script, Entonces)' (1971).

Mirtha Dermisache, page from 'Sin título (theatre script, Entonces)' (1971).
Image Credit: Photo by Ivana Vollaro.

Sebastián Barrante, 'Carta a Mirtha'.

Sebastián Barrante, 'Carta a Mirtha'.
Image Credit: Naranja Publicaciones.  

Rosaire Appel, 'As It Were' (2010).

Rosaire Appel, 'As It Were' (2010).
Image Credit: Rosaire Appel.

Zhu Yingchun, 'The Language of Bugs' (2015-2019).

Zhu Yingchun, 'The Language of Bugs' (2015-2019).
Image Credit: Photo by Oscar Salguero.

Event visual.

Event visual.
Image Credit: Designed by Anja Lutz.

Organised by Regine Ehleiter, Research Area 4: "Literary Currencies". This event is part of the exhibition "Mirtha Dermisache: To Be Read" and the third in a collaborative series entitled "Reading Artists’ Books", initiated by Regine Ehleiter und Tabea Nixdorff, in memory of the artist, curator and librarian Doro Boehme (1957-2020).

How is asemic – that is illegible – writing to be read, or is this a contradiction in terms? What does it mean to speak of 'reading' marks that do not form letters, words and sentences, or even constitute signs? Does reading require language to occur? In March 1971, Roland Barthes wrote to Mirtha Dermisache that the 'illegible writing' of which her books and publications consist, 'suggests to its readers, not exactly messages nor the contingent forms of expression, but the idea, the essence of writing. Nothing is more difficult to produce than an essence, i.e., a shape that refers to its own definition.' Similarly, any attempt to 'read' Mirtha Dermisache's 'writing' leads us to also question the act of 'reading' itself and consider its essence.

Dermisache was keen to collaborate with artists and scientists as a means of exploring new ways of approaching her work. In the same year in which she started her epistolary exchange with Barthes, she also engaged in musical experiments with Fernando von Reichenbach and other composers at the Centro Latinoamericano de Altos Estudios Musicales (CLAEM). Von Reichenbach had invented a 'graphic converter' and put it to use, in 1971, to translate Mirtha Dermisache's graphisms, inscribed on a large script roll, into sound. Several contributions to the reading event will address ways to translate artists’ publications with asemic writing into sound (Paolo Dellapiana, Josefina Barcia, Sebastián Barrante/ Guillermo Montecinos).

The Argentine writer Sergio Chejfec (1956–2022), in his reading of Mirtha Dermisache's Libro n° 8 (1970), produced a legible translation of her work. Entitled El mes de las moscas (2019), his interpretation maintained the original visual layout and the typographical appearance of Mirtha's book and is currently being translated from Spanish into English as The Month of the Flies (2024) (see reading by New York-based poet, translator, and editor Silvina López Medin and the literary scholar Rebekah Smith).

Apart from contributions that focus on Mirtha Dermisache's work (Josefina Barcia, Sebastián Barrante, Barbara Bausch, Megumi Andrade Kobayashi, Ivana Vollaro), 'Reading Artists' Books: Asemic Writing' will also present readings of publications by other artists (Antoine Lefebvre), such as Rosaire Appel, Konstantina Benaki, Eva Wipf (a reading by Tabea Nixdorff and Monique Ulrich) and artists’ publications with nonhuman scripts (Oscar Salguero).

Each of the contributions is scheduled to last no longer than 10 minutes and will be recorded.

Reading Order

18:30 | Regine Ehleiter: Welcome and introduction

18:40 | Paolo Dellapiana: Mirtha Dermisache, "Libro (ambas manos)", "Sin título (postal)", "Libro N° 1, 1967"

18:50 | Josefina Barcia: Mirtha Dermisache, "Sin título (roll piece)"

19:00 | Barbara Bausch: Mirtha Dermisache, "Sin título (carta)"

19:10 | Ivana Vollaro: Mirtha Dermisache, "Sin título (tarjeta)", "Entonces (theatre script)"

19:20 | Megumi Andrade Kobayashi: Mirtha Dermisache, "Libro n° 1, 1972"

19:30 | Silvina López Medin & Rebekah Smith: Sergio Chejfec and Mirtha Dermisache, "Libro n° 8, 1970. The Month of the Flies"

19:40 | Short break

20:00 | Antoine Lefebvre: "AESELP. Asemic Journal #2"

20:10 | Tabea Nixdorff & Monique Ulrich: Eva Wipf, "Die neue Sprache"

20:20 | Rosaire Appel: "As It Were" & "See Songs"

20:30 | Konstantina Benaki: "To grasp the underlying. A year of asemic wanderings"

20:40 | Oscar Salguero: Zhu Yingchun, "The Language of Bugs" and other nonhuman scripts and languages by the Interspecies Library

20:50 | Sebastián Barrante: "Writing letters to Mirtha", performance lasting for the duration of the event, sonification by Guillermo Montecinos.

Time & Location

Jul 18, 2024 | 06:30 PM

A—Z (and online)
Torstraße 93
10119 Berlin

To follow the event remotely and receive the event link, please register in advance: asemic@temporal-communities.de

Further Information